Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist

Millions of Americans avoid trips to the dentist because of anxiety or even real fear. The root cause of this fear might have been an actual experience, an anxiety disorder, or simply an overactive imagination. Some of these people even suffer physical pain because they cannot force themselves to schedule an appointment and drive to the dentist’s office.

Dental problems are unlikely to heal themselves. If left untreated, small problems turn into bigger ones. Today’s dentists are well trained in the art and science of managing both pain and dental anxiety. If you are avoiding a dental exam in Jacksonville because you fear pain or the unknown, you should know that you and your dentist can work together to make your visit relaxing and painless.

How to Reduce Anxiety about Your Dental Exam Jacksonville

  • Make sure that you let the dental office know that you suffer from dental anxiety
  • Schedule a consultation to learn what your dental procedure is and what things the dentist can do to make you more comfortable
  • Consider visiting a mental health professional if your fear of the dentist is related to an anxiety disorder that may be affecting other areas of your life
  • Practice relaxation techniques that can help you stay calm

The hardest part of suffering from dental anxiety might be admitting that you have a problem. If you have been avoiding cold drinks or spicy foods for weeks because of tooth or gum pain, you can be pretty certain that you need to visit a dentist for a simple and effective cure. The best thing to do is to tell the office staff that you suffer from dental anxiety right away. That way you can find out what they can do for you.

It might be embarrassing to admit that you are afraid to visit the dentist. The staff’s reaction to your problem will let you know if this is the right dentist for you anyway. If the dental staff is eager to listen to your problems and provide assistance, you will probably be more eager to schedule a dental exam in Jacksonville.

An office that is skilled in treating people with dental anxiety will be willing to schedule a consultation with one of the dentists or another dental professional in the office. This gives you an opportunity to simply visit the office before you actually need to seek treatment. The professional should be willing to understand the source of your problem and tell you exactly what you can expect. This means you should learn what the treatment might consist of and what the dentist will do to manage both your fear and your pain.

Some dental offices even have headphones so their patients can listen to music while the dentist works. Others prescribe mild sedatives to calm anxious patients. Other dentists are becoming very good at helping their patients feel like they are still in control by giving them hand signals to use if any procedure causes pain or discomfort. Once you see that a dentist already has experience treating patients with dental anxiety, it should go a long ways towards relieving yours.

This first visit might lead you simply to schedule a dental exam Jacksonville. Your next appointment might just ease you into the dental chair with a good exam and a teeth cleaning. Once you have a good experience with this type of visit, it should be a lot easier to come back again for an actual treatment.

Some folks fear the dentist as a symptom of other anxiety disorders or mental health issues. In this case, a visit to a counselor or psychiatrist might be beneficial. You might need therapy or medication to help you cope with anxiety in many areas of your personal and working life. Once you have been treated, visiting the dentist should be a minor hurdle to overcome.

There are also some common and effective relaxation techniques that you might practice at home and use in the dental chair. These include deep breathing exercises and meditation. You can also concentrate on muscle relaxation exercises that will calm you and also distract you. Some of the same exercises that are taught by maternity centers to help women get through childbirth are also very effective in helping people get through a dental appointment. The idea is to focus your mind on relaxing and not on what is going on inside of your mouth.

Do You Need A Good Dentist in the Jacksonville Area?


If you need a caring and competent dentist in the Jacksonville area, contact the office of James J. McCall. This dentist and his office staff are totally committed to ensuring that each patient gets the benefit of their safe, state-of-the-art, and gentle dental practices. Each patient gets individual attention. There is always time to answer questions and try to accommodate people with special needs or concerns. Simply tell the office staff what you need when you call for an appointment or consultation. If you need a checkup or have been putting off dental work, contact the office to schedule your dental exam Jacksonville as soon as possible. You’ll be glad you did.

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